Okay, so last year I did PiBoIdMo. At the same time, I was also trying to get 1,000 words a day finished on a middle grade novel. If you do the math, you can see that I’d have had 30,000 words on a novel and 30 ideas finished by the end of the month, were I to have been successful.
That would have been an AMAZING amount of writing.
But I was not successful. Not completely, anyway.
I logged about half of that amount of words on my novel—but that is still 15,000 more words than I would have had otherwise. So I felt pretty good about that.
But my picture book ideas. Ugh. I ended the month with 22 of them. Most were pretty crummy. I mean, I was trying to do the best that I could, but man, some of my ideas were really dumb/hideous/terrible/lame. What? You want an example? Okay, I’ll cut and paste some entries from my PiBoIdMo Journal, 2013:
November 3: (Came up with this one in my sleep) Baby Kangaroo Won’t Get Out of the Pouch I kind of see lots and lots of animals getting invited over to Joey’s pouch, but he is too scared to come out. Not sure what is going to get him to come out.
Really? I read that idea now and all I can think is POOR MAMA KANGAROO!! And also yuck. I think yuck.
Hungry for another?
November 13: Dream Dinos (Little dinos that live in your head and help you sleep….hahaha)
This whole idea just gives me the heebie-jeebies. And nightmares. Ick.
The list continues on in a similarly awful manner. 18 completely un-writable ideas.
Notice I said 18, not 22. That is because 4 of the ideas I recorded last November were pretty darn good. Actually, they were incredible. I am working on two of them right now, and will tackle the other two a time permits. (I wish I could tell you about them, but I can’t talk about picture book ideas when they are in progress. Ruins the magic of it.)
The truth of it is that I never would have come up with the 4 ideas that I really like if I hadn’t been willing to take a chance and just try and come up with one idea each day. (And each day, I did feel pretty satisfied with what my muse had given me. It was only upon later reading that I thought BLECH. But that is okay. From mounds of fertilizer sprout beautiful blossoms, right?)
So make your PiBoIdMo list. Let it sleep (or ferment, as the case may be) for a month, then see which ideas still smell sweet.
Shelley Moore Thomas is the author of the nine picture books (including the much heralded GOOD KNIGHT series) and one middle grade novel, THE SEVEN TALES OF TRINKET. Her upcoming tenth picture book, NO, NO, KITTEN! (Boyds Mills Press) hits shelves on March 3, 2015. In addition to being a writer, Shelley is also an elementary school teacher. So, no, she doesn’t really ever get to sleep.
Shelley is giving away a pre-order of her upcoming picture book with Lori Nichols, NO, NO, KITTEN!
This prize will be given away at the conclusion of PiBoIdMo. You are eligible for this prize if:
- You have registered for PiBoIdMo.
- You have commented ONCE ONLY on today’s post.
- You have completed the PiBoIdMo challenge. (You will have to sign the PiBoIdMo Pledge at the end of the event.)
Good luck, everyone!